Self-Honesty Can Alter Perspectives

8. A Primer on Synergetics


This article is the last of the "Primer Series". There are two reasons for bringing this series to a close. The first, and most important, is because Dr. Art Coulter, the originator of Synergetics, has written a new, simplified version of Synergetics called "Group Tracking; An Introduction to Synergetics". This book explains in ordinary language the basic concepts of Synergetics much better than I could*. The second reason for discontinuing this series is that I have an idea for an experiment. It is an experiment which will take into consideration several different aspects of the human being. Among these will be the mind-mental aspect, approached by a schedule of Synergetic queries; the physical development aspect will be approached by a series of physical exercises; the physical regeneration aspect will be approached by a regimen of diet and a deliberate procedure of functional stimulation; and the esoteric aspect will be approached through the reading of a series of recommended books. Anyone who may be interested in learning more about this experiment with the possible aim of volunteering as a participant, please write me. I will be glad to send you information as it is developed.

Throughout this series we have been considering happiness and ways by which we might achieve a greater measure of this illusive state for ourselves. One way to do this is by coming to grips with our various states of unhappiness and eliminating them. Another way of stating this would be to say that we could become aware of our present perspective regarding a state of unhappiness and then adopt a new perspective. Stated still another way, we could dig out the basic Belief-Attitude-Motive upon which a state of unhappiness relies for its existence and change that.

The step-by-step procedure for doing this is actually quite simple. The individual selects any type of situation in which he experiences unhappiness. He then recalls to memory a recent incident wherein he experienced this type of situation. (Or one can do this when he is actually in the process of experiencing unnappiness). He then calls to conscious awareness what his b e l i e f is About the situation and why it causes him unhappiness, his attitude or physical regponse to this type of situation, and his motive for believing and responding in just this way. Having done this, he has consciously put together a BAM on this particular type of incident. His next step is to track his BAN down to the incident where he first adopted it. When he has done this he is then in a position to achieve intellectual differentiation regarding the BAN. He can still keep the old one and the unhappiness it begets, or he can try out a new one.

This process requires two distinct abilities: i. The ability to be self-honest; and 2. The ability to achieve intellectual differentiation.

The ability of self-honesty is somewhat different than it at first appears to be. It is not necessarily a Moral consideration. I

have always considered that morality is action in the sphere of conscious determination. Self-deception may be considered a moral issue when it is first practiced, I suppose. Bet once the deception has been driven to the backmind and out of the scope of awareness, it is simply a condition. Self-honesty is the opposite condition.

Looked at in another way, self-honesty might be described as the resolution of a conflict. One side of the conflict is the way a thing really is. This is basic reality. This is what it is. The other side of the conflict is the way the person wants it to be. This is his reality. This is not what is. Self-honesty is the ability to recall from the recesses of the backmind the real truth of what is (of what was at the time of the first self-deception).

Viewed from another perspective, self-honesty is simply being aware. But awareness is a subtle quality. I can get so exasperated when I carefully explain a concept to another person and yet he cannot "see" what I am talking about. "It's so simple," I say to myself, "why can't he grasp it?" It is a matter of awareness. What is awareness, really? I don't know entirely, but I do know that sensory perception plays a prominent rale in awareness. Desire also plays a prominent role. These two are perhaps the leading actors--perception and desire.

In some instances awareness remains illusive because one lacks sensory data. In such a case one is afraid he might practice self-deception. To prevent this, he limits his scope of awareness. In other instances, one does not desire to accept reality, so he limits the scope of his awareness. Then he deceives himself with a fabrication that is more acceptable to his desire and accepts this as reality. Self-honesty is the act of expanding the scope of awareness to include the reality as it is.

My favorite example to demonstrate this phenomenon is a simple one. Most cases are neither as simple as this nor as easy to resolve. It is the case of a woman who gets ill every time she smells smoke. A little probing disclosed that when, as a very small child, her home caught on fire one night. She was sleeping on the second floor. In a frenzy of terror, her mother grabbed her up and headed for the ground floor and safety. At the top of the stairs she tripped and both fell to the bottom. The fall rendered them unconscious. A moment later the father carried them both to safety.

Until the sensory data of this particular experience was brought to the level of awareness, smoke made this person ill. The reactive function of the mind, operating below the level of awareness, held that "smoke" equaled "terror" equaled "pain" equaled "unconsciousness" equaled "possible death". When this sensory data was brought into the scope of awareness where her intellectual function could apply, she was able to do what I call "intellectual differentiation". By this,_ I mean she was able to differentiate between the smoke of that original terrifying experience and all other smoke. Thereafter, smoke had no ill effects on her whatsoever.

I would like to make a point here. The pro-

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* AUTHOR'S NOTE -- 'Group Tracking will be available ma limited, mimeographed manuscript edition about November 1, and will sell for $3.00. This edition will not be offered the general public. ABERREE readers wishing a copy should write Don Purcell, 305 Derby Building, Wichita 2, Kas.